Saturday, August 1, 2015

Puppy pictures!!

The puppies have been doing some serious growing lately.  They are three and a half weeks, and are becoming the cutest things around! Their eyes opened at about two weeks and ears around three.  Tails are starting to wag, and they are beginning to engage with each other in some playtime!!
We also have opened a Instagram account for Duty Dogs. Our name is dutydogs.
Enjoy these adorable pictures!! 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Jackie's done it again!!

       Jackie has delivered!!  Through a perfect uncomplicated birth, six pups arrived last night.  Three black boys, two black girls, and one chocolate female.  After showing signs of labor all day by trying to nest in the closet and under beds, her water broke at nine-o-clock last night. The first pup arrived at about ten-thirty and the sixth at two-thirty.  It is a perfect sized litter as it won't over-tax Jackie.  Praise the Lord for the safe delivery!!! 

Jackie the mom

Bailey the Sire

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Preperations for Whelping Puppies

Whelping puppies doesn't need to be hard or scary.  There a few things though that are needed to prepare for a smooth birthing process.  Most important would be a comfortable quiet place for your girl to make her nest. We built a 4/4 box with a door for our whelping box.  Some kind of bedding is also essential.  We use newspapers, as they are easier clean up than say, blankets or wood shavings.  In addition to this we keep a digital scale for weighing pups as soon as they are born.  

Here is our list of items for whelping...
  • Whelping box
  • Embroidery thread or tasteless dental floss (for umbilical cord)
  • Digital scale
  • Laundry basket with heat lamp and thermometer (for delivered puppies while mom is birthing)
  • Newspapers
  • Anti-styptic powder (in case of excessive bleeding from umbilical cord)
  • Bulb syringe (for clearing a puppies nose and throat of birthing mucus)
  • Pre-cut ribbons for puppy identification collars
  • Plastic gloves 
  • Paper towels (for cleaning and drying pups)
  • Note book and pen (for recording contractions, weights, and birth order/times) 
Ribbons make it possible to identify puppies
Whelping box has PVC "rails" to keep Mama from smothering her puppies

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Puppies are on The Way

We are excited to announce Duty Dogs puppies are on the way once again!  These bloodlines are consistently creating dogs with the right temperament and work ethic to provide great service dogs.  

Last year's litter of 9 created a crop of 7 dogs who are solidly on their way to being service dogs and one hunting dog.  Three are training and solidly alerting as Diabetes Alert Dogs, two are serving in families with Autistic boys, two are in the middle of training to serve ladies with debilitating diseases in different parts of the country.  Pretty solid results I'd say!

These puppies will be available to trainers or individuals who have an eye toward training them as service dogs of various capacities.  Lord willing we expect them to be born the second week of July, ready for placement as new pups in September or as started pups in November.

Contact us right away to get one reserved because we expect them to go quickly!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Duty Dogs in TV Newcast

Penny Preston, a tv reporter here in Cody heard about us and contacted us to do a story.

The story ran Thursday April 23rd on KCWY Channel 13 out of Casper, Wyoming.  It also ran on the KULR Channel 8 in Billings, Montana.  Click here to view the story on

Monday, April 27, 2015

Duty Dogs in the Cody Enterprise Paper

A friend to helpA couple of weeks ago the local paper in Cody, Wyoming did a story on our family enterprise.  You can read the story by clicking here.  We are very thankful to the Cody Enterprise for choosing to give the Becker Family such a large place in their paper. 

However, sometimes a Mom must set things straight.  Wyatt did not say "Duh" when he was asked about why he raised money for diabetes!

Another correction in the story is that the father of the autistic boy mentioned at the end of the story had just come to believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.  Upon doing so, he started praying directly at the situation of his son's autism condition.  Within a couple of days of fighting with the spiritual weapon of prayer, his son spoke his first complete sentence!  This is amazing and is a better reflection of what was shared with the reporter.  It is Jesus who deserves the glory for the autistic boy having a speech breakthrough, not our dog, as wonderful as he may be.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

When Puppy Comes Home-- Training

TRAINING: Dogs love to work.  And don't we all love to show off the neat tricks our dogs can do?  All dogs should be trained in basic obedience (sit, stay, come, down).  A good goal for you and your dog is the Canine Good Citizen test (CGC).
Cocoa during his CGC test at Wal-Mart

Your puppy may have come to you with basic obedience skills, but it's up to you to KEEP him trained.  Spend a few minutes every day practicing the basic skills.  Put some food in your pocket and go through "sit, stay, come, down" a few times with him.  This keeps your dog sharp and helps him to know that YOU are the boss.

Dogs love to learn new things.  There are plenty of resources available to teach YOU what and how to train HIM-- websites, YouTubes, and don't forget the library!  

Three key things to remember when training:
  • keep it short (10-15 minutes)-- think "kindergarten" attention span
  • keep it simple-  use the same command for the task your training, and don't over-complicate it; some tasks need to be taught in multiple stages and then pieced together.  For instance, training Bailey to get a juice from the fridge comprised teaching him three separate tasks that we then bridged together after he had mastered each of them.
  • consistency-- a little bit every day (or several times a day) will pay great dividends
    Getting a juice
    Bailey opening the fridge

Never too young to train!
In an effort to keep your dog at a healthy weight, use part of their breakfast or dinner for training purposes.  For instance, if they get a cup of kibble at a meal, give them 1/2 a cup in their bowl and then put the other half in a training bag (or your pocket) and use it to train them.
Or use all of their meal for a training session.  You decide.  The point is to not give them food and treats in addition to their normal diet, or you'll end of with a pudgy pooch.

So, get your food bag and go spend a few rewarding minutes with your buddy!

Monday, March 16, 2015

When Puppy Comes Home-- Sleeping and Place

Bailey, Lucky, and Cocoa getting ready to head to town for some training.
This is the fourth post in a series with the new dog owner in mind.

 SLEEPING:  Eventually, you might want your new BFF to sleep with you, but we highly encourage you to start them off in a crate appropriate to their size.  All of our labs have their own large crate for night-time purposes.  Please don't think you're being mean to your dog to put him into a crate.  Dogs
are den-creatures and the crate becomes their safe place.  Of course, your dog shouldn't spend extended periods of time in the crate outside of sleeping, but crate-training makes for a very well-adjusted dog.   A crate also provides a safe place for a dog to travel, as seen in the picture.

Good boy Lucky!!!!
PLACE:  We all like to know where our "place" is and dogs are no exception.  Make sure your dog has a bed of some sort in the house.  We don't allow our puppies to just wander when they're in the house.  Putting them in their "place" for an hour at a time allows them to be a part of the family, but not get into mischief.

We love Kuranda beds for our dogs.  These beds are elevated from the floor, making them easier on the joints.  The simplicity of the design keeps them from capturing dust, dander, hair, and who knows what else!  When we're not using one, we just lean it up against the wall, and it's out of the way.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

When Puppy Comes Home-- Exercise

EXERCISE:   Just as children behave better when they've had opportunity to burn some energy, same goes for your dog.  Establish a couple of times each day when your dog gets to spend some fun time with someone. 

       Fifteen minutes (longer if possible) of throwing the ball or taking a walk will help him to be a calmer dog that is less apt to get into mischief. 
     Not only is this a great way to get your dog's energy out, but it is therapeutic for the human involved.  If it were not for the dogs, there are days where I may not even make it outside!  This is a NOT good for me, so thankfully, our exercise regime gets me out of my house.
     The time spent together also helps to create that bond between dog and owner.  So, get on out there and DO SOMETHING!

     It is not advised to jog with larger breeds of dogs until the two year mark, as running can have detrimental effects to their hips and joints.

Monday, January 26, 2015

When Puppy Comes Home-- Potty-Training

POTTY-TRAINING:  Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of puppy-hood is getting them to go where they're supposed to!  Routine and consistency are key!  Dogs will naturally establish a "Break Place" (that's how we refer to elimination).  When you first bring him home, take him to your designated spot and tell him to "Break" or whatever command you decide upon.  He may be too interested in all of the new smells to actually perform, but don't stress.  Take him
inside and watch him like a hawk.  If you see him starting to "go", grab him up and take him out to the spot and give the command and lots of praise when he goes.  Set a timer when you bring him in so that you can take him to the spot and give the command BEFORE he goes on your carpet.
Also, when you let him out of his crate in the morning and twenty minutes after each feeding, immediately take him to the spot and give the command.  Expect it to take a week or more of doing this consistently before he really gets the hang of it.

Friday, January 23, 2015

When Puppy Comes Home-- Intro.

Many of us feel that a family just isn't quite complete without a dog.  These creatures can truly add such joy and delight to our family memories.  Eventually, the dog becomes like a family member and you barely know that he's there.

However, that dog snoring on the hearth doesn't happen over night. Introducing a puppy into a home is a big adjustment, especially if the family is new to dogs.  Although a 6-month old puppy may look like an adult dog, it's NOT! It's very important to understand that dogs don't begin to lose their puppy status until they are TWO years old!  It is unrealistic to expect that older pup to behave like his three year old sire.  Thankfully, knowledge is power and knowing what to expect from your new friend can help ease the learning-curve (and hopefully preserve the furniture and carpet).

In an effort to help those who are anticipating a new canine addition, we are going to begin a series of posts that will explain expectations and preparation for this new adventure.  Items such as potty-training, feeding, sleeping, chewing, place, and training will all be addressed in separate posts.

Before your puppy comes home, you need to have your home prepped and ready for your new pooch.

YARD:  Your dog needs to be safe in your home and on your property.  Make sure the area you have for your dog is fenced adequately. Your curious creature will discover things that you didn't even know you had!  A few things to be aware of are poisonous plants, propane tanks and lines, the garbage containers, and other items that could present a hazard to your dog.

HOUSE:  If you intend to have your dog inside at all, then this area needs to be adequately prepared as well.  Minimize things on the floor (baskets, decorations, food storage, etc.).  Have a family meeting to discuss the importance of everybody doing their part.  This is a great motivation for family members to put things where they belong-- shoes, socks, toys, books, and so forth.  Dogs WILL eat socks and pass them through to the other side.  However, a sock tangled up in the intestine would amount to a very sick dog and a sizable vet bill!

Stay tuned for more about When Puppy Comes Home coming soon.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Major, our almost 7 month male black lab, has been progressing fast in his scent training.  Passionate about food, he loves his training time. Recently, he has begun checking us for the "low" sent.   He will come over to one of his trainers and smell them.  If he finds the scent he will get an excited
expression and begin to paw our thigh.   This checking without being asked is a HUGE part of being a Diabetes Alert Dog (DAD).  The job of a DAD is to constantly be in tune with his diabetic and always on the alert for that "low" scent.  Major's checking in with us often is the beginning of that amazing duty he will one day serve his diabetic.

Recently, our diabetic came up from his room and sat on the couch.  Major jumped up from his "place", went directly to our son and began excitedly smelling him. Then Major alerted him by pawing, just as we have trained him to do.  A quick finger poke revealed that our son's blood sugar was below the safe range.  It was Major's first live alert and a very exciting moment for all.

We are happy to see that Major's training has made sense to him, and he is beginning to apply it practically.   Though he still has a lot of training ahead of him, we are confident he will make an amazing DAD for some fortunate person.